In Home Care Carlsbad CA: When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help

When A Loved One Needs In-Home Help
By Kristen Gerencher, MarketWatch

The signs can hit you quickly or sneak up on you gradually. But what do you do if Mom or Dad isn’t safe living alone anymore?

"The worst thing you can do is ignore it," said Bob Mecca, principal of Robert A. Mecca & Associates, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

If an elderly relative starts to need help to get through the day, families who want to avoid institutions often face two choices: hire a home-care aide or become one yourself. Both these options allow the older person to remain at home where he or she may be most comfortable, experts say, but each has its own pitfalls.

Families who choose outside help must decide what level of care their loved one requires and whether they want to go through an agency or hire a caregiver privately. And people who join the ranks of the 65 million unpaid family caregivers can face health-draining burnout if they don’t budget for respite care for themselves.

There are two main kinds of in-home care. Personal or home-care aides provide companionship and support a person’s activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals and doing laundry. Home health aides may do all those things plus tasks such as administering medication or recording changes in a client’s condition. They also may work under a nurse’s supervision.

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The caregivers at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing quality, affordable home care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas. Call 760-720-7272 for more information.

When an Aging Loved-One Needs Home Care in Carlsbad CA: What Families Should Consider

When an Aging Loved-One Needs Home Care in Carlsbad CA: What Families Should Consider
By LTC Expert Publications

The time when a respected matriarch or patriarch must step aside from his or her own affairs is an incredibly emotional time for all involved, and there are many tough decisions that must be made. Aside from the logistics of taking care of an aging parent or loved one while maintaining a life of their own, the children must also consider the feelings of the people that have given them advice and guidance throughout their entire lives. The role reversal itself can sometimes be overwhelming to a family. However, the strength of the family is enough to carry them through if they consider the following things:

1. Finding the right home care provider. Private elder care providers must be thoroughly vetted through their references and resume. A good way to find a qualified, personable in-home care provider is through private home health agencies, who require that their senior care professionals meet certain requirements before they are allowed to perform service. The one good thing about Medicare and Medicaid is that they require governmental certification of their homecare providers.

2. Budgeting for home health care. Perhaps the most difficult decision for a family to make is to get the absolute best care for their elder loved ones while staying within the cash flow limitations of the family. As with any service, you get what you pay for, but there are many options for families living within a budget, including time shared, on call emergency care, assisted living, and peak hour home care.

3. Keeping the integrity of your loved ones intact. One of the most important traits that an elder care provider can give a patient is the dignity of living as independently as possible while providing the best care when needed. This takes a special provider, and one truly dedicated to the discipline. Throughout the process of home care, the provider must be continually monitored. Family should consider themselves in a management relationship with the home care provider, and continually evaluate their performance.

Age Advantage caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about all of your care needs, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas.

Senior Care Carlsbad CA: What a Heart Failure Diagnosis Really Means For You

Senior Care Carlsbad CA: What a Heart Failure Diagnosis Really Means For You

(ARA) – Hearing the words "heart failure" from your doctor is a frightening thing. If that is your diagnosis, you’re not alone – more than 5 million Americans are affected by heart failure. But while it is certainly serious, it is not quite as ominous as it sounds. The good news is that there have been tremendous strides in heart care treatment in recent years, which enables patients with the disease to live full, active, normal lives.

One key thing to remember about heart failure is what it actually means. It’s not a death sentence; it means that your heart muscle has changed. It’s either weakened or it has become stiff, which means that it has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.

"Many people with heart failure can lead relatively normal, active lives. The key is early diagnosis and treatment," says Dr. Stephen Gottlieb, chair, Heart Failure Society of America Education Committee. "New treatments can be very effective in slowing and stopping the progression of the disease, and in some cases can even reverse the process."

It’s when heart failure goes undiagnosed and untreated that things go wrong, which is why it is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. Many people have questions about this common disease, and the more you know, the better you’ll be able deal with a heart failure diagnosis.

: What causes heart failure?

Answer: Heart failure develops following an injury to the heart. Heart attacks, long-term untreated high blood pressure, alcohol abuse, or an abnormality of one of the heart valves can all cause the damage that leads to heart failure. You are also at increased risk if you have a history of a heart murmur, suffer from enlargement of the heart or have a family history of enlarged hearts, or if you are diabetic. In some cases, the exact cause of heart failure is not known.

: What symptoms should I watch for?

Answer: Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath even when the activity you are engaging in is not strenuous; difficulty breathing in a laying down position; weight gain and fluid retention that lead to swelling in the legs and ankles; and general fatigue and weakness. Of course, many other health problems may share some of these symptoms, so it’s important to talk to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital.

: I’ve been diagnosed with heart failure. What do I do now?

Take charge. Working with your doctor, you can find a treatment plan that will help you live the healthiest life possible for you.

Your treatment will include diet modifications, an exercise plan and certain medications. Limit your salt and alcohol intake. If you smoke, quit. Lose weight if your doctor advises it and exercise regularly. And be sure to weigh yourself daily and report any sudden weight gain or swelling to your doctor.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, it’s important to take good care of yourself and to enlist the support of family and friends.

To learn more about how to live well with heart failure, visit to download information or request to have complimentary materials mailed to you. All the information on this site is designed for patients and is easy to read and understand.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Age Advantage caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about all of your care needs, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas.

How Pets Help Carlsbad CA Seniors Live Happier Lives

How Pets Help Seniors Live Happier Lives

One of the best prescriptions for good senior health is to have the senior citizen adopt a cat or dog as a pet. Provided that the senior family member or friend is physically and emotionally capable of providing care for one or more pets, research has proven that pets not only have a positive impact on a senior’s longevity but also affects their physical as well as emotional health in a very positive manner. Actress Betty White, a long-time animal rights advocate and pet owner, is a shining example of a senior whose animal companions keep her physically and emotionally active.

Studies have shown that individuals with a variety of senior health issues benefit from having ownership of a pet, usually a cat or a dog which can give and receive affection. Seniors with memory problems or slight depression are often more alert and engaged when caring for a companion animal. Just the act of stroking or petting a dog or cat’s fur has proven to lower an individual’s blood pressure. Heart attack victims who return to a home with a pet recover more quickly than others.

The care of pets requires some regularity of action from their owners and it is this physical activity as well as regular schedule that greatly benefits the health of senior pet owners. A senior who has a hungry dog or cat nudging them awake to be fed or played with isn’t likely to sleep the day away or stay in bed feeling listless or depressed. A pet can provide a senior with a sense of daily purpose, because the animal must be fed several times throughout the day, brushed or groomed on a daily basis as well as taken for a walk in the case of dogs. Any physical activity related to pet ownership helps to extend a senior’s longevity because it helps give them a reason to get out of bed, or get up off the couch or get away from the television set and get moving. Even the simple act of grooming a pet can increase a senior’s blood circulation. Throwing a ball for a dog to retrieve or rolling a ball filled with catnip toward a cat helps to keep the fingers flexible.

There is another very valuable benefit to any senior citizen who shares his home with a pet companion. Studies have proven that owning a pet provides important companionship to seniors who would otherwise feel alone and disconnected from society. Seniors who have no nearby friends or relatives to communicate with on a regular basis or neighbors to interact with daily can interact instead with their dog or cat, providing some relief from the sense of isolation that they usually experience.

Although caring for a pet is not an option when a senior citizen is in a nursing home, scheduled visits by dogs trained to provide therapy, have had a noticeably positive effect on the nursing home resident’s mental outlook, as well as providing the same physical benefits such as lowered blood pressure when interacting with the animal. The unconditional love provided by therapy dogs is a much welcome bright spot in the day of anyone confined to a hospital bed or with limited mobility living in a nursing home day in and day out.

Many senior citizens whose health enables them to care for a loving cat or dog in their home or apartment feel that their companion animals serve as a kind of daily emotional tonic that has only positive benefits for both their physical as well as mental well-being.

Age Advantage caregivers

are available to talk with you and your family about all of your care needs, including, how to reduce


stress while providing better, affordable care. 

Age Advantage

is a

home care

agency providing

In Home Care in Carlsbad CA

and the surrounding areas.

Senior Care Carlsbad CA: February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month

Heart health is an area of grave concern among healthcare professionals, policy makers and the government. Heart disease has killed more Americans than any other diseases or chronic illnesses. It is the leading cause of death among patience of all race, gender and age. About 785,000 patients in the nation suffer their first heart attack every year and 470,000 of them have recurring heart attacks in a year. It has been estimated that heart attack affects one patient in every 34 seconds in America, costing a whopping healthcare bill of $316.4 billion a year. The risks of heart disease also dramatically increases with age affecting one in every five women above the age of 65 as compared to one in every 10 women between ages 45 and 65.

For 37 years, the American Heart Association tirelessly organized and campaigned for the fight against heart disease. February is the ‘American Heart Month’ where efforts are spent to increase awareness and raise funds for research and education on heart disease. 

Heart disease is a lifestyle-related condition. Risk factors that can lead to heart disease or stroke are physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and alcohol. As more elderly patients tend to have high cholesterol, high blood sugar or high blood pressure conditions coupled by weaker immunity systems, healthy living to promote elderly health is one of the primary concerns during American Heart Month.

Good heart health can be attained by adopting change in lifestyle, diet and regular monitoring of one’s blood sugar level, cholesterol level and blood pressure. The following are five healthy living tips to good senior health that not only help keep heart disease at arm’s length but also increase one’s quality of life.

Regular Exercise or Physical Activity

Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best remedy for elderly health and wellbeing. Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, golf, dancing and others help to build strong healthy hearts and help to improve blood circulation. In fact, statistics show that a sedentary lifestyle is a leading threat to heart health; those who are physically inactive and seldom participate in regular exercise program are 39.5 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke.

Balanced Diet 
Healthy living starts with balanced diets rich in fiber and low in trans fat, sugar and sodium. Elderly patients should also consume high nutrient foods that are good for the heart and body as a whole. Greasy food and food high in trans fat found in cooking oil and meat should be avoided to prevent gradual formation of blockage in the arteries especially among elderly patients’ whose body metabolism decreases with age.

Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level 

Senior health checks should never exclude regular monitoring of seniors’ blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level as these are among the top risk factors to cardiovascular disease. Senior patients can perform regular monitoring of their conditions at home and take precautionary measures such as diet and prescribed medication if levels are higher than normal.

Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can also lead to heart disease or stroke; it is as unhealthy to one’s heart as it is to one’s bones and joints. Excessive fats in the body can strain the heart and cause additional stress on the bones and joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to good senior health as it helps to prevent adverse conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can potentially lead of heart disease.

Stop Smoking and excessive Alcohol intake
Smoking and excessive intake of alcohol are harmful habits that are especially damaging to elderly patients. Smoking increases the chances of blood clot and accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, hence increasing the risks of coronary heart disease. It can also increase the chances of a relapse or recurring heart attack. Smoking is also linked to many elderly health conditions such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

Home care counselors at Age Advantage are available to talk with you about your live-in home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable home care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas.

Home Care Carlsbad CA: Should Your Parent Be Living Alone?

Should Mom/Dad Be Living Alone?
Jacqueline Marcell

Recently I received a call from Michelle, an exasperated adult daughter asking if there was any legal way to get her elderly father to stop yelling, screaming and berating her, and to accept a caregiver so she could move out of his house. She had moved in to help him after her mom passed, but was now trapped as he refused to move to assisted living or accept live-in help.

Michelle started to cry, saying she had just called an agency where a man “laughed at me,” saying her father could do whatever he wished in his own home short of physically abusing her. Since I have survived the same situation with my own father, I knew the misery she was going through.

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The caregivers at Age Advantage are available to talk with you and your family about all of your live-in home care needs. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing quality, affordable home care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas. Call 760-720-7272 for more information.

Aging Gracefully: The Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

Aging Gracefully: The Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults
It’s never too late to improve your health
By Sharon O’Brien, Guide

The notion that exercise is good for you has been around for quite a while, but until recently seniors have been left out of the picture.

Everyone Benefits from Exercise
Today, new information is emerging from research: people of all ages and physical conditions benefit from exercise and physical activity.

  • Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities, including dementia.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of seniors who are frail, or who have diseases that accompany aging.

Don’t Be Afraid to Exercise
Exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, but some older adults are reluctant to exercise. They may be afraid that exercise will be too strenuous, or that physical activity will harm them.

Research from the NIH shows that actually the opposite is true:

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Source:,Senior Living

The caregivers at Age Advantage are available to answer all of your questions about home care, including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing quality and affordable care for your loved one. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in Carlsbad CA and surrounding areas. Contact us at 760-720-7272.

Setting Up a Plan of Care in Carlsbad CA

Setting Up a Plan of Care
By Maria M. Meyer, Paula Derr, and Jon Caswell, Contributing Writers

A plan of care is a daily record of the care and treatment a person needs on a daily basis. The plan helps you and anyone who assists you with caregiving tasks.

A plan of care helps caregivers manage the day-today activities of the person in their care–medications, appointments, exercise, etc. This type of written record is also very helpful when respite (relief) care is used.

The plan of care includes the following information:

  • diagnosis
  • medications
  • physical limitations of the care receiver
  • a list of equipment needed
  • diet
  • detailed care instructions and comments
  • services the home health care agency will provide, if using such on agency.

This information is presented in a certain order so that the process of care is repeated over and over again until it becomes routine. When the plan is kept up to date, it provides a clear record of events that is helpful in solving problems and avoiding them.


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At Age Advantage we understand how important quality care is for our loved ones. If you need help with home care, please call us at 760-720-7272. Age Advantage is a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in Carlsbad CA and surrounding areas.


Family and Medical Leave Act and Caregivers at Work in Carlsbad CA

Family and Medical Leave Act and Caregivers at Work

By Isabel Fawcett, SPHR

It is a safe assumption that many caregivers who work outside their homes are aware of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA.)  Even if some American workers are not aware of FMLA yet, this blog steers you in the right direction and shares one caregiver’s perspective on when and whether you wish to invoke your FMLA rights, *if eligible.

FMLA is Federal Law
FMLA requires *eligible employees to take an unpaid leave up to 12 work weeks in any 12 month period. *The 12-month window is defined by the employer’s prevailing practice or policy. With *required medical certification, *subject to employer approval the eligible employee is allowed to take the approved leave for the birth of a child, to care for a family member who has a serious medical condition, or, if the employee has a serious medical condition which requires such leave.

(*The above layperson’s descriptive of FMLA does not constitute legal advice by this blogger and/or the owner of this website and/or any third parties involved in the publication or dissemination of this blog. Comprehensive information on the FMLA is available through the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at <>.)

Caregivers at Work
Some workers view FMLA as an all-or-nothing package. Nothing could be further from the truth. FML can be a strategic work and life decision if you so choose and are eligible under the law.

Timing is Everything
If the person in your care is chronically ill with multiple chronic diseases requiring primary physician, specialized medical, and other healthcare intervention, using FML for one serious medical condition may preclude using FML for other equally serious medical conditions. Such a scenario would hold true if the caregiver exhausts the 12-week FML entitlement through consecutive leave use.

I cannot and would not tell anyone else how to handle your FML eligibility. I am happy to share the conscious decision I made for 10+ years in my then-part-time caregiver-worker bee roles.

I chose to not invoke my FML for one reason only.

My mother has multiple chronic illnesses as medically diagnosed. I mindfully considered worst-case outcomes for each of her medical diagnoses.

I decided that brief hospitalizations, major surgeries without medical complications, and post-surgical weekly follow-ups were best managed through advance planning, scheduling, and careful management of my accrued (paid) leave benefits at work. Non-emergency surgeries were scheduled in advance, allowing me ample time to take an approved vacation day, or 2, while I actively monitored and evaluated whether I might need to apply for FML, or not.

For me, only, it really was that simple. I never invoked my FML right nor did I use all of my accrued leave for caregiving in any year. Think strategically is all I can say.

Age Advantage can help your family with all of your elder care needs. We are a home care agency providing caregivers and in home care in Carlsbad CA and the surrounding areas. Call us at 760-720-7272.

Caregiving and Family Hostilities in Carlsbad CA

Caregiving and Family Hostilities

By Isabel Fawcett, SPHR for LTC Expert Publications

If it seems like caregiving to aging parents with chronic health issues brings out the worst in some individuals, it happens. The family’s communication gridlock may not be due to the stress of eldercare, however.

Deep-seated individual and/or family dysfunction in communicating and relationships may have remained unresolved over the years. Unresolved family issues will not magically disappear.

Family Dynamics Mirrors Social Issues
In 2010, healthcare reform legislation passed in the form of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA.) Some Americans were gung-ho about the passage of PPACA and the need to radically reform healthcare in the U.S. Other Americans were and may remain vehemently opposed to PPACA. Some individuals are in favor of having PPACA repealed. One nation America shall remain regardless of individual viewpoints.

Consider family dynamics in context of the PPACA social analogy. One family remains recurring dysfunction notwithstanding. To have and express strong emotions is to be human.

Tip of the Family’s Eldercare Iceberg
Common sticking points for families facing eldercare life transitions include:

  • estate disagreements;
  • eldercare decision disagreements;
  • financial disputes;
  • medical treatment issues for elders;
  • funeral, burial and memorial decisions;
  • wills and powers of attorney, and more

Even the most trivial matters can trigger major family disputes or lead to a total breakdown in a family’s communication and relationships.

Feelings will ebb and flow at-will. Some feelings may be repressed and surprise us in when, and, how they re-emerge during the most stressful times in our lives. Stressful times – as in caring for our aging and chronically ill parents who once did a dismal or, not so dismal job of caring for us when we were children.

Remember those occasional (normal) vulnerable feelings you and I had as children?

Some of our childhood feelings were real. Other feelings we may have experienced in childhood may have been based on imagined or misinterpreted signals. Those childhood and young adulthood feelings that we may not have been able to express due to: age, immaturity, language development, cultural influences, fear, or any number of reasons, remain intact only to re-surface when least expected.

It may be that the most important step a caregiver can take when eldercare makes its debut in a family’s life is recognizing that disputes will occur in the best of families, as in society. Similar to social disputes and heated public discourse family disputes boil over or slow-simmer.

A caregiver’s handling of family disagreements may ease angst and help the caregiver, elder, and the entire family achieve healing over time. Some caregivers do so without outside help. Others may need a friend, counselor, mentor, or licensed professional to help. It’s all good.

The caregivers at Age Advantage can help answer all of your home care questions. Contact us at 760-720-7272. We are a home care agency providing elder care in Carlsbad CA and surrounding areas.